Ryan: Guillain Barré
In May 2008, 2-year-old Ryan went to bed perfectly healthy. When he woke up the next morning, he appeared unsteady and had trouble walking. Ryan was admitted to Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) and his doctors ran tests immediately, including MRIs, blood work, brain scans and spinal taps.
By the end of the day, Ryan was completely paralyzed and doctors diagnosed him with Guillain Barré, a rare nervous system disorder that results from nerve damage caused by the body's own defenses (immune system), usually in response to an infection or other illness. He was paralyzed from the neck down and made very few improvements in therapy.
When Ryan began coming to TIRR Memorial Hermann Kirby Glen two months later, he was not able to walk, but things started to change once he began therapy there. Less than 10 visits later, Ryan was able to walk with braces unassisted. One year after he was diagnosed, the neurologist at TCH said he had made a 90 percent to 95 percent recovery. Now Ryan runs – his shins and hips are still a bit weak, but he continues to make large strides in therapy.